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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 14, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EST

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commander in the adf. both of these were very strong influences on summerall's early career. unfortunately, riley was killed during the siege of peking, but very interestingly and somewhat touchingly, henry j. reilly junior became a field artillery regimental commander in summerall's brigade and division during world war i, and summerall became a mentor to henry reilly junior. officers like albert butler who was his aid during the war. butler was an emergency officer, not a regular, became an oil field executives in oklahoma after the war, but again remained a lifelong friend of summerall.
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>> when another individual with whom summerall clashed, and he has interesting things to say about that is billy mitchell. when he was commander of the department from 1923-26, mitchell comes to hawaii in late
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1923. he's assistant chief of the air corp. and he's doing a survey of military installations in the pacific basen. he writes a report that's critical of summerall's leadership in that department, so that didn't sit well with general summerall. ironically, a couple years later when mitchell is brought before a court marshall board, summerall is one of the officers on the court marshall. the first challenge that mitchell's defense lawyer, dwight mori row, is of summerall sitting on mitchell's court marshall board as a member of the board, so summerall gets kicked off the board. six weeks later he's a witness for the prosecution, so there was some small measure of
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satisfaction to summerall in that regard. summerall had a very interesting career and in a time of transition for the u.s. army, and i think the evolution of both the army and the individual coincided during this period, and i think his memoir is interesting to read for that to get a sense of that evolution if for no other reason, but i also think in terms of his accomplishments and what he did when he was in the army and what he accomplished after the army, making an important figure in history of the u.s. army certainly during the first 40 years of the 20th century. i would argue that summerall is perhaps among the five or six
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most significant army officers who served during this period. i think the others i put in that category and we can argue about that would be general persing, leonard wood, chief of staff from 1910-14 and a fairly controversial figure himself. pateton march and organized the war department in world war i. douglas mack arthur who succeeded summerall, and perhaps a little known figure, jay franklin bell, chief of staff of the army from 1906-10 and really understood how a general staff should operate. i put summerall in the group of these army leaders of that period of the early 20th century, and i think for that
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reason as well as others that i've stated i think his meme roar is interesting -- memoir is interesting and a worthwhile read. thank you for your attention. [applause] this event was part of the sogs of the u.s. army meeting. for more information go to jefferson cowie discovers the american working class in 1970s. it was a great focus of american politics and of cultural relevance at the start of the decade only to essentially disappear ten years later. he discusses his book in new york and the program runs just over 45 minutes. [applause] >> well, welcome.
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for those of you who don't know me, i'm glenn carle, -- glenn, the american studies at cornell. i'm here to introduce our speaker to welcome c-span which is filming this event, and i should begin by noting that introductions come in a variety of forms, and a variety of length. there is the short form which oscar handlelin used 30 years ago when introducing my colleague, professor bloomen, who thinks he knows a lot about social history, we'll see.
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[laughter] i will take us on a somewhat more traditional approach to introducing our speaker. jeff cowie is a professor at cornell university. he got his ba in history at is berkley and from chapel hill in 1997. he teaches labor and working class history. his interests are broad. his book "capitol moves, rca's quest for cheap labor" received the prize for best book in labor in 2000 and edited the meanings
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of the industrialization. he was extraordinarily knowledgeable about american history in many of its domains including popular culture as well as labor history. he is a superb teacher, a wonderful colleague, a thoroughly decent human being, and his book, which he will talk about today, is entitled, "awe awe awe staying alive." [laughter] it's a pleasure to introduce to you jefferson cowie. [applause] >> keep your day job, glenn.
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[laughter] thank you for that lovely introduction. it's great to see you here and so many familiar faces and who helped directly with this project or held my hand in this project. it's great to be among the hometown crowd, so thanks for coming out. this book is, i like to call it a tragedy in three-part harmony, and what i mean by that is i think the story tells is a tragedy, a tale of hope and dispair, i think, and the three-part harmony comes in trying to bring together work and working people, politics, and popular culture and weaving together a narrative that pulls together all three. the tragic part, i think is captured in the een graph which
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is like jon steinbeck with his grapes of wrath. in the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live, for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken, and that concerned stienbeck's animation to the book. what happened to the voices of working class di sent particularly around material concerns? i think we see a lot of cultural dissent, but what happened to the working class in its modern form and modern ideal? that's the problem i set out to answer in this history of the 1970s, and the first part of the book is called hope in the
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confusion, and the second part of the book is called dispair in the order, and while it sounds on the surface like this is a typical decade book, the history of the 50s and 60s, this book is actually what happened in the middle of that decade. this book really revol ofs around the middle period with history and politics and culture turn, and in the first half of the decade there's all this tumult and the ideals of the 60s move into the culture of the early 70s. the ideas of the 60s really took root in the heartland in the 70s in very different economic and political climate.
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as i was looking for a way to talk about this change, i wanted to come up with an introduction that wasn't, well, here i am, a history professor, and here's my three arguments about the decade. as trying to figure out a way to talk about this, i stumbled across this person, a worker at a ford plant north of detroit. his name was d urk ey burden. the "new york times" was interested in what was going on in the early 70s. there was unrest in the shops. it was not just about wages, but working conditions. it was concerned with the quality of life in the shop as much as how much people were being paid, and so they sent a reporter out to this ford plant, and they stumbled across this
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worker, duey burrton who was about to vote for george wallace in 1972. he is a segregationist governor from alabama who got a lot of attention in 1970. find out what's going on with all this blue collar discontent, and they find duey and interview him in 1970, 1972, 74, 76 race and 1980 race. eventually after wallace is crippled by an assassins bullet, he bolts from a conservative populist over to george
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mcgovern, the most left leaning political figure to get a place on the mainstream ticket probably in the 20th century. by the end of the decade, he votes for ronald reagan and is a reagan democrat. i use him as my hook, around what i weave the story of the introduction. as i mentioned, the first half of the 70s is different than the second half. it's post 60s and pre80s as much as a single decade. in between, i wanted to read what duey had to say in 1974. 1974 is the year michael herrington wrote a dissent on sadness and felt something different was happening in the world. well, duey was not an intellectual, but sometimes he
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sounds like one. this is the picture of him on the cover actually. this is duey and his wife and son, david. let me just, if you'll allow me to read a paragraph. the hope and possibility marveled in the early part of the decade faded into the dispair of the new order emerging in the second half. i wanted to be somebody duey declared. it wasn't the money, but just wanted recognition, to be more tomorrow than i was yesterday, and that's what i was working for. in addition to plugging away at the ford plant, he was trying to start his own business chipping away slowly at a college degree and even playing guitar. he drove himself, worked all day, studied all night, and read on his breaks. looking more 60s by the mid 70s, long hair and a black turtle neck, he surrendered his hopes
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for the future to focus on today. it takes so much to make it and no time for dreams and no energy for making them come true, he said. i'm not sure it's going to get better, he explained. keeping this dispair is identified in harmer's magazine in 1975 as a new world view emerging among us focused on the self-with individual survival as its own good. he framed the problem. i realized i was killing myself, and there wasn't going to be a reward for my suicide. burton saw little hope of the emerging reality in the decade. he famed the problem as effectively as any social of the time. something is happening to me,
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working stiffs of the time. it isn't we have to pay for more this or make less of that, it's deep and hard to explain, but it's like more and more of us are leaving our hopes outside in the rain and coming in the house and locking the door, you know, turning the key, and click, that's it for what we always thought we could be, and those words come after a series of interview they did on hopes for change and the direction he thought society would be going. by 74, he was really locked into this move if you will. now, let's turn back for a second. if we look at the earliest part of the book, it's, as i said there's a hope in confusion. one of the points of hope came from the labor movement. the labor movement had grown
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stale by the late 60s and dragged its feet if not opposed much of the social movements and antiwar movements of the 960s, but at the same time, there was voices of dissent in the early 70s suggesting a new direction for workers. this was on racial inclusion, quality of work life, on unions, a whole set of issues. chapter 1 opens with the first dashed hope, and i will just, again, read briefly about this. clarksville, pennsylvania, new year's eve, 1969. early in the morning of the last day of the 1960s, three hired assassins flipped off their shoes and crept into a home in southern pennsylvania. one of the intruders shot a
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25-year-old daughter. the two others shot the wife and another into the mine leader. they scrambled for a shotgun, but only a spilled box of shells remained he had to defend his family. as his son rose on the new decade, the three corpses remained untouched and his son was worried about his family and drove to the home to investigate. the triple homicide was the talk of the nation in the first weeks of the 1970s, and as the news fled to the miners, they dropped their tools and protested. they had a campaign that received widespread coverage across the country in 1979.
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it was the unauthoritarian president of the mine workers of america,. well before any trials, it was evident of a union and the explosive growth back in the 1930s had gone terribly wrong. later noted, it made them not only a labor folk hero, but in death, the force for reform he longed to be in the last years of his life beginning the greatest reform effort in u.s. history. throughout corp. unions and the mine workers and field workers, these insurgencies basically push up, take over the leadership of the union and in the case of the mine workers they succeed, and steel workers they fail. there are a number of these file
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movements of various stripes that are seeking to reform, to bring new life into the labor move movement, to basically melt the social movements of the 1960s with the accomplishments of the new deal labor accomplishments of the 30s. the hopes would be a revival of the working class and the working class in our civic imaginations. similar point of hope, this one political for the presence of workers. this opens the second chapter on politics. robert f. kennedy at the dinner table with journalists and photographers on the eve of the democratic primary summarizing
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his lessons he learned in the time of the voters. peering from under the trade, he said it's class, not color, what everybody wants is hope and a job. here he was, along with other people trying to reestablish the devicive politics of race and vietnam and put it on a material foundation, unevenly as it turns out in the book, but as paul collins put at the time, many believed he was quote the last liberal politician who could communicate with white working class america. robert kohls, the famous harvard psychologist said he was the final hope.
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there's a search going on at this time for this sin. it proved difficult to sustain, but there were all these sparks going on. at one point, i think i write the hammer of the labor movement hit the 60s and sparks flew everywhere, but only few caught fire. the reason it didn't catch fire is from another character in my book, probably my favorite, richard nixon. i don't know where you stand with richard nationon. it's just empty, i think. in 1970, nixon was trying to
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figure out how to build a permanent majority and wanted to make himself into the next roosevelt, a style to unit a bunch of people in various factions and allow them to advance through history in a permanent realignment. he thought about changing the name of the republican party to the conserve titch party, and -- conservative party and he had all ideas. he kept going back on forth on what to do with workers and unions, and in 1970 he decides workers are going to the future of the republican party, and he's going to strip the democratic party of that sort of working class base and bring it over to the republican party, and i want to read you a little
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bit of the language of that meeting. this one in the summer of 1971 planning for the 1972 campaign. this is nixon. you have to call on the nation to be strong on things like drug, crime, defense, and a basic national position, he declared among those before him, the educated people and the leader class no longer have character. you can't count on them. nixon detested the eastern elite who he saw everyone tent and the working class is the only constituency with the character and guts to make it through the day. we need support on tough problems, the uneducated are the ones with us. because the president thought the deeper reservoir of character were those of those who offered their back and
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brawn, he rejected many proposals. he explained it's vital we continue to recognize work with workers, and not attack unions that represent the organized structure of the working man. in his class analysis, workers were the counterpoint for the eastern establishment which he had nothing to contempt. the leaders painted themselves white and ran like antelopes. the managers were not what the country needed. this moment beckenned for the two-fisted types in the workers and labor leadership, the traditional backbone of new deal politics and the new faith could be found in the republican party. maybe, he said, short sided and hate nixon politically, but in the end, the president concluded, they are men, not softies. he declared, we need to build
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our new own coalition based on workers, cat ricks, -- catholics and poles. he sensed the moment and devoted his presidency to making a new majority. his sole goal was to disassemble the roosevelt coalition and rebuild the pieces into his own modern collision. all else, the watergate, domestic presidency derived from that central principle. you have a contest here rt hearts and minds of working people, the white working class especially, between these wallace mcgovern, the union movement and nixon. the perfect working class cleared is three georges, george
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wallace, white sue premmist, george meany, the bread and butt l trade unioniest, and george mcgovern capable of reaching out to the new social movement, and that was a possible political alliance to cement. excuse me. so, that leads us to the third strand in the three-part harmony, or the third bit, and it's popular cull clur. -- culture. in the first half of the book, one of the main characters is archie bunker. everybody knows him, actually, my students don't, but everybody
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over 40 knows him. [laughter] what's interesting is in 1974, the family was taping a four-part episode on a strike that archie was involved in down at the loading docks. at the same time they are filming those episodes, carroll o connor refuses to cross the picket line because there's a strike at cbs. the one thing you didn't want to miss was all in the family. this sent everybody into a tizzy because carol's politics was stopping the filming of america's most favorite show. it didn't make sense because archie bunker was lovable bigot, so how can carol be projecting
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lofty goals when he refuses to cross the picket line. the other interesting thing is the other actors did cross the picket line. carroll was the only holdout. everybody else in the show crossed the line. at that point, for instance, gene stableton said, i don't think he has support anywhere referring to his refusing to cross the ticket line. he's noble sounding, but not wise. he treated himself as constitutional uncapable of crossing the picket line. i will not work with strikebreakers. it's a matter of principle to me. i call him scab and i'm surprise the the management people allow themselves to be used this way. he concluded, i could no more go
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into the building and work with scabs than i could play handball in a church, and carol o'connor lectured everybody in the press with the labor leaders and things like that, but it was clear he was out of step with everything going on by 1974. as many commented at the time, it was out of character for archie to go on strike or for o'connor to go on a real strike. their actions were placed in a frame work where they were victims of injustice. archie was the wrong victim, and o'connor had the wrong nobility. it was explained of his picket line, karl ice convinced the world is marching in one step
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against him, and it was, and the archie throughout the early decade presented a roar shock test. you can read into archie bunker whatever you believe. a lot of people who were leaning towards george wallace thought archie was the guy, and they believed in what he said. those on the left thought he was an idiot and butt of the jokes, and the women appeared to -- it's clever. somebody who watched the show was richard nixon, and there's just some unbelievable rhetoric i want to share with you from my favorite character. richard nixon hated the idea people laughed at archie. he described an episode in the
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private, but of course taped -- [laughter] conversation. the tapes are unbelievable. everybody should listen to the nixon tapes. of course, taped conversation which he saw homo someone sexuality everywhere. it got nixon's attention and a former football player turns out to be a fairy as nixon explained. his men cannot believe this is happening to a hard hat, and the hard hat is the, you know, shorthand nixon uses for his working class masculine constituent. as the three sat on the combling america, it slips into an interpretation of history that managed to melt the rise of
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sexuality with the fall of the empyre. you know what happened to the greeks? homosexuality destroyed the greeks. in contrast, the strong societies like russia, they root them out, we got to stand up to this. nixon's always a lot of fun to study. allow me to move quickly to the second half just to give you a sense of the second half of the book where if you thought that was sad -- [laughter] it gets worse. in 1979 in an interview with william, the head of the international association of machinists, he's one of these few, sort of pugnacious, senator
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funny, tough-talking labor guys at that point. general said, is there any way that president carter can redeem yourself in your eyes? william thought about it, eyes were turning towards what would become the water shed in the 1908 presidential race, and leaders had grave concerns about the direction of liberalism, and jimmy carter's inability, failures, take your pick to make his mark on liberal grounds, and the leader looked at the general and said yes, there's one way he can do it. >> what's that? die, said the labor leader. i don't wish that on him, but that's the only way i know he can do it, and obviously he
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didn't wish he would die, but there was so much frustration by the late 1970s with the carter administration. even when carter was nominated, it's all the democratic nominee who goes to the organized labor and says who would you like for vice president, and when carter went to george, head of the cfl, 80-year-old at that point, carter says to me, who do you want for vice president? he said, you. [laughter] the frustrations were indeed, the chapter is called the new deal that never happened, an attempt at a new deal revival,
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employment policies, labor law reform, national health insurance which is recently back in the news when carter said with kennedy who killed health care reform, and not him, and all of these initiatives are boiling up, and all near misses. labor law reform goes down to a filibuster for a lack of really one vote, the employment act passes, but it's vow toed before its passed, and that's the sowter of that kind of -- that is the source of the anger towards carter. here's the moment glenn is waiting for where i talk about saturday night fever. [laughter] pop culture in the second half of the decade is really
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interesting because the story -- the overall story is basically two choices. you are either one of the ones who can get out, or you're stuck in the past. in the old 1930's movies, the town is saved and everybody rallies together to, you know, achieve something wonderful. in the 1970s, it's really about getting out, who has the ability to get out, and saturday night fever captures this perfectly well because the main character, even in the original article on which this is based is called the chosen one and everyone else is stuck, and tony dances his way out of the ghetto and into manhattan, and will be and
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upwardly mobile yuppy by the 1980s, and what's interesting is nick cone, the rock critic, some of you may know his work, wrote the articles on which this was based and it came out in a new york magazine in 1975, and everybody was intrigued by this of what cone had written, and they decided to make a movie out of it. it was really intriguing stuff, a thick description of working class in brooklyn, and all that was going on and this sort of hot bod of -- hot bed of sex and desire and escape and things like that, and it was published, and it was published with a little box that says we know everything that happened is true. this is all absolutely true because cone had to swear it was
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true because it was so rich. it turns out he made everything up. he completely made up everything, and so it works also as a metaphor for the 70s because there's a bit of fraud and fakery going on. what happened was he took this cab out to disco, and he gets out of the car and there's a fight in the parking lot and somebody throws up on him, and he said, i'm out of here. as he gets in the cab, he sees a guy in a sharp paired crimson pants, shirt undone, # a gold chain on and is smoking, and that one image of 70s cool became john travolta's character in saturday night fever, but the idea it was based on a lie i
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think is truly important. let me just end with one short section, and then i'd like to take your questions. elvis by the 70s had become bloated and filled with drugs and -- but simultaneously uniting figure for a lot of white working class people. it was a sackment for the king himself. the performer dissolved the american culture with performance, mixed the races and direction of heart and became the traditionalist, the one's great dreams.
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his many concerts from the 1973 tfertion and last swing in life in places like lincoln, johnson city, served as was explained, a beautiful ritual to combine the nation's wounds that racked america. he had become a repository, 60s virtue, a tim -- time capsule and re-- reemerged singing songs to men and women to where it all began. he expressed his unique combination of the southern, working class, evangelical, and a pension derived from the post war consumer culture.
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when he died in graceland in 1977, so did a point of unity, a post war dream. he was arguably the last unifying vision what white working class america. he scattered and the only figure capable of carrying the crown. in the king's passing, the rock critic found the unhinging of the nation's culture, and arguably the final word on a post war dream gone bad. as written in the eulogy, we will continue to fragment in this manner because this holds all the cards at present. it is the king who dreams were engulfed. we'll never again agree on anything as we agreed on elvis. i won't say good-bye to his
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corpse, but i will say good-bye to you. [applause] thanks. [applause] any questions? >> i want to let you know many explanations why the 1960s ended and when the 1960s ended. some of them have something to do with a backlash against civil rights, the counterculture and vietnam. some of them have to do with economics. >> uh-huh. >> what's yours? >> mine is the perfect storm of all things. it -- the backlash is certainly present. the economics -- excuse me, one of the things that animates this book actually
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is trying to look beyond the economic crisis, and i think a fair criticism of it is there's not enough economics in it or the classic issues of globalization, industrialization, and if anybody knows my work, that's what i've been doing for the last however long, so what i wanted to do is figure out why there was not a more effective response to those issues, what was going on in american history that prevented a more cohe'sive response -- cohesive response, and most of the ferment i look at ended in 1974, really the strike rate collapses and from 68 to 73 there's a big strike wave in american history and the only year bigger is 46, the biggest year in american history, but it ends when stagflation kicks in.
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it's a very easy structural argument to make, but i think it's not as interesting in some ways as figuring out why there's not these other things, and so what i like is the juxtaposition what i liked exploring between the various elements that were working that might have provided a different context. let me give an example. ed, the famous steel workers insurgeon, i'm sure you've all read all about him. basically, he said there's too many steel workers, we have to change -- long before the crisis hit, there's too many steel workers, and we have to retool them, reeducate them, they should be doctors and lawyers. he quickly shot down for not
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paying attention to pure and simple collective bargaining as the future. there was a guy thinking about it and also making environmental groups which is the big issue among yiewndown -- unions today. he was way ahead of his time. i'm looking at simple causization and how did they collapse? >> you described book in terms of a work, working people, popular culture, and politics. could you talk about how, in your work, the figure of bruce springsteen plays as a way in and across those issues? >> who? [laughter] >> springsteen. [laughter] >> i'd have to look in the index
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to see whether he's covered. [laughter] no, springsteen is interesting. one of the earliest lines in the first album is dock worker's dreams mix with panther schemes to someday own the rodeo. they both are scheming to run the show; right, and he picks up on that, and that's sort of the early decade. by 1975, he's stopped with the jazzy album, and born to run comes out. born to run is a perfect example of saturday night fever. thunder road, he says, it's a town full of losers, and we got to get out of here to win. some of us are going to make it out. some of us have a future, and belongs to those who can escape
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and those who can find a path out of here. what you never hear about is who left until the next album. in darkness, 78, the next album, he returns to those towns, and it is a dark, gloomy album full of sort of hank williams and phil scenes and things like this where it's very klauser it's closer phobic and nobody is going anywhere. there, i interpret born in the usa, but with that chorus dwor
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offed the -- dwarfed the working class underneath it. you have sort of lost in that sea of patriotism and ragennism is a story of someone who went to vietnam, who lost their job, and ten years burning down the road, and has nowhere to go, and i think that that song and the way the song was interpreted at the time tell a lot about working class identities in the 1980s. >> what happened to duey? >> if you look at my website, you can see a picture of duey. i went down and interviewed him where he was retired in florida where all workers seem to go, and he's doing well. he got out right before the plant shut down. the working ford plant he worked
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for finally closed, and he watched all of his friends lose their jobs, and in fact, he sent me a dvd that the employees had made of the last days of the plant, and the sound track was glory days, springsteen, but he's -- he's, he did well. he was the last of his lot. he retired on a great pension, one the great defeat of the 70s was working 30 years and out. he enjoyed that. ironically, his upper mobility was he is always mouthing off and he was interesting and because of his fame he got advances and he moved up into the skill trades by the late
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08s. in his final interview in 1980, the "new york times" said duey is a happen man and he'll vote for reagan, and in 76 he voted for reagan against ford, and so, but he's a great guy. one of the things he does is what a lot of working people did and still do is when, you know working in skills and assembly lines are sort of the spaces, he spent time at home customizing cars, so that's his salvation and built tea bucket hot rods, and you'll see one if you wish. last i spoke with him he was going to vote for hillary clinton in 2008. i was shocked by that. he was outraged by the war.
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that was before obama hit the scene. i have not had a political discussion with him since those interviews, but -- is that it? well, i thank you all for coming, and i appropriate the great hometown turnout, and i guess i can sign some books. yep. great, thank you. [applause] >> jefferson cowie is the author of "capitol moves" and was the recipient of the prize for best book in labor history. he is currently a history professor at cornell university. for more information visit
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>> welcome to the program, and tell us, how did you come up with the title of that book? >> well, i knew a book that was simply given a scientific title, but not be very attractive, and as a scientist, i know that science has its artistic features that is linked to politics. my own life has been engaged not only in science, but in the arts and in the politics of doing science, so what is interesting to most people about what i do is the way in which science is conducted and the way in which the political process influences on, and those are topics i'm engaged in and thought the public would read about. >> describe your transference from a english major to a scientist? >> it's a complicated thing. i originally wanted to be a doctor. went to college and fell in love with literature, went to graduate school, was
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disenchapterred with that, went back to medical school, and then was compelled by the vietnam war to provide service, and then i lernlged research is more exciting to medicine, and then devoted my life to that. >> what will fans of politics learn about science? >> that's a good question. i think people who simply admire the scientific process will begin to realize how important, interesting, and difficult the interface between science and the public that cares about it and pays for it and congress that oversees it qb. those -- can be. those interested in politics, political action influences the process. science was depended on wealth people, and it still does to a certain extent, but it's heavily on how the government supports and pays for science, and that's
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a political process we have to encounter directly all the time whether it's stem cell research or thinking about how to improve the nation's health or simply providing funds for scientists of the hih or national science foundation or elsewhere to do their work. >> your book is laid out in four parts, becoming a scientist, doing science, a political science, and continuing controversies. tell us, why did you lay your book out that way in >> well, i thought the things people cared about would be first of all, why are you a scientist? in fact, what i'm trying to point out in that section is that you don't have to think you're a scientist from the third grade. you can have, you know, america is forgiving. it allows a prolonged adolescence, and i think people need to understand that you can become a scientist in your late 20s as i did. then, i wanted to devote -- the trickiest part of my book is how much to say about the science i've done. it's complicated, and i didn't want to insult the audience by
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watering it down, but i wanted to take a thread and follow is looking at one aspect of my career that was important because it led to the award of the nobel prize and the genes in cancer that people care about. i wanted to trace my own activities as a scientist and link that to a very important social problem, mainly cancer, and then because in the sense there was a chronology to this, that is, i did most of my scientific work, but not all of it before i became a government leader, i wanted to talk about what it was like to be the director of the nih, running a large agency in the government trying to do science with the public's money, and explain what the complexes are between society and science and how they get solved. in the last section the reason i move the issues out is because i wanted to spend some time talking about how we publish our work, how the stem cell controversy arose, how we are
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approaching the development of science and better health in poor country, and that became sectored out as essays addressed in greater depth and i could have done in a narrative about myself that are issues that all must think about. >> your mom had breast cancer. how did that influence you as a researcher and scientist in >> well, there was an influence in that i was on the nis working on back bacteria and learned that bacteria teaches us as human disease, and i was a doctor and a son of a mother with this disease. i wanted to feel my research was connected to a problem. now, i don't think that my -- that that was the only reason i chose to do work about cancer, but i saw a opportunity in my thinking about cancer as a
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problem, mainly, we didn't understand how a normal cell became a cancer cell, and there was new tools in measuring dna and rna or viruses that cause cancer in animals and led me to believe this huge problem that affected my family and every other family has solutions by taking advantage to the new tools and researching science. >> this is based on lectures in 2004 you gave. tell us about those lectures and how they came to a book? >> that's a good question. i was asked to give lectures, and i didn't read the fine print. the nor ton lectures are good, and then i saw norton sponsoring the lecture signed a contract with me, and i had to publish the lectures. as anybody finds out when they try t


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